A Starbase, Player Owned Starbase, or most commonly POS, is a collection of structures that player Corporations may Anchor in the orbit of Moons. Starbases are not to be confused with the large 'dock-capable' Stations that orbit planets. A player cannot dock with a starbase, only make use of the external modules.
More confusion stems from the use of the acronym 'POS', which is sometimes elucidated as 'Player Owned Station', or 'Player Owned Structure'. No component of the starbase is a station. Player Owned Structure technically refers to the individual structures that make up a starbase. Worse still, players often refer to the central structure, the Control Tower as the POS on its own.
Officially, the term 'Player Owned Starbase' refers to the entire group of structures that make up a starbase.
A starbase fulfills many of the functions of stations, but externally. It is possible to store and refit ships, refine ore, or manufacture modules, ships and other items. A starbase plays an important role in the in-game economy, as they are the sole source of materials for Tech 2 ship manufacture. They are also required to build Motherships and Titans, and to process Combat Booster materials.
A starbase is used in the following capacities:
- To claim space for a Corporation or Alliance
- To mine resources from Moons
- To hold goods and materials in a time of war or for transportation
- To give players a safe place to go when under fire
- To provide an exclusive manufacturing or research center
Starbases are primarily used in security 0.3 and below systems for moon mining and reactions, for Sovereignty, for guarded Safespots, and for ore refining. A starbase may also be run in security 0.4 to 0.7 systems with the moon mining and material reaction functionality disabled. Their effective use is limited to guarded Safespots or manufacturing/R&D. starbase ship manufacturing capabilities are also limited, in 0.5 or higher systems, to Large Assembly Arrays. This disallows the starbase from making anything larger than a Battleship in 0.5 or higher security.
As items cannot be Anchored in space marked 0.8 or higher security, starbases can only be placed in 0.7 or less.
You need the Anchoring skill to be able to anchor different starbase structures, you will also need the starbase role from your corporation to manage the control tower and operate structures like Refining Arrays and Ship Maintenance Array.
In addition to the anchoring skill a corporation wishing to place a starbase in a high security system will also need faction standing with the faction owning sovereignty (ex. Gallente Federation in Essence systems). Corporation standing can be figured using all non-zero active member standings. Characters on inactive accounts don't count towards the total. In case you just created your corporation, it will take a few days to get correct faction standing for your corporation. Every DT the faction standing raises to the correct standing value. Be patient.
For empire space your corporation needs to have the following standing to be able to deploy a starbase in a certain solarsystem:
0.4 needs 4.0 faction standing
0.5 needs 5.0 faction standing
0.6 needs 6.0 faction standing
0.7 needs 7.0 faction standing
BUG (04-08-08): When looking at the faction standing for your corporation it will not show the correct value. Ask somebody else, that is not in your corporation, to check for the real faction standing OR (10-15-08) right click on your corporations standings and select 'Show Compositions'. This bug is due to the client caching the value of the standing for too long.
Common methods of quickly raising factional standing for this purpose are doing COSMOS missions and turning in certain tags to datacenter agents.
There are many structures available to build and customize a starbase. Each structure has a specific purpose and plays an important part of your base's operation and enhances its capabilities. Structures must be Anchored at you starbase and brought online via your Control Tower before they are operational. These structures must be bought on the market and transported into the orbit of a moon. As they are very large, they are often moved using an industrial hauler or (in lower security space) capital ship.
- Main article: Control Tower
The Control Tower (or CT for short) is the central structure of any starbase -- no other starbase structures can operate unless the Control Tower is online. The control tower is used to Anchor structures around it and manage their operation. The control tower also governs the rules of how your starbase defends itself against other corporations and determines who is allowed within its shields.
Anchoring your Control Tower
- Jettison your tower (for your corp)
- Right-click on the tower
- Click 'Anchor Structure'
- position the tower by holding and dragging the arrows
- Right-click on an arrow once you're happy with the position
- Click 'Anchor Here'
Anchoring takes time, bear that in mind if in a potentially hostile system.
Once Anchored, a tower should be set with an access password. That starbase password will also need to entered on your ship. The password option is mainly used to allow non-corp/alliance members to pass through the shield.
Note: There are two checkbox options, "Allow corp members" and "Allow alliance members". This will allow both to pass freely through the shield without the need for a password.
Setting a Password on Control Towers and Ships
- Right-click on the Tower
- Click 'Set Password'
- Right-click on your ship
- Click 'Enter starbase Password'
After you have a password set, you should add fuel to your tower (next section). You can begin the onlining process once you have fuel.
Onlining the tower:
- Right-click on the tower
- Click 'Put Online'
- Wait patiently for 30 minutes
- Main article: Fueling a Control Tower
A Control Tower runs on fuel. The fuels needed to keep a Control Tower online are trade goods and ice products. Your Control Tower has limited space for you to place these fuels in. The fuel units are consumed every hour for a Large tower, every 2 hours for a Medium tower, and every 4 hours for a Small tower.
Adding fuel to your control tower
- Right-click on the tower
- Click 'Access Resources'
- Drag and drop the Isotopes, Heavy Water, Liquid Ozone, and Strontium Clathrate you purchased along with the other necessary Robotics, Enriched Uranium, Mechanical Parts, Coolant and Oxygen.
starbases do not refuel themselves: they only take what's available inside the resource storage part of the CT. If a specific fuel like Liquid Ozone has run out, then your structures will start to go offline. Don't just shove tons of fuel in there, balance it out so everything has roughly the same amount of days supply.
If you run out of Isotopes, your whole Control Tower will go offline, shields will drop and you will be a sitting duck. This is precisely the reason why fuel is such a critical issue and should be the most important thing to take into consideration when planning your base. Ask yourself if your corp can mine/buy the required fuel regularly, how many members can have mining barges? Do you have easy access to ice belts?
Always mine in advance, have 1 months supply stored in your Corporate Hangar Array at the starbase. If you mine on the spur of the moment whenever you need fuel you will fall behind and risk leaving your base open to attack.
Refining Arrays (better known as Mobile Refineries) allow you to reprocess ore at a starbase. You must load the Refinery with the ore (only one ore type is allowed in the refinery at a time). Once loaded, right-click the Refinery and start the process. Unlike stations, the process is not immediate. You have to wait between 1 and 3 hours before the contents of the Refinery are changed into minerals.
There are three types of Mobile Refinery:
- Refining Array: 35% yield, one hour cycle time.
- Medium Intensive Refining Array: 75% yield, one and a half hour cycle time.
- Intensive Refining Array: 75% yield, three hour cycle time.
Corporation Hangar Array
The Corporation Hangar Array allows you to store anything you want. When opened, the layout and naming of the hangars is exactly the same as your corporation office or HQ hangars. Although limited in space, there is more than enough to store ore, modules and loot.
Ship Maintenance Array
The Ship Maintenance Array structure allows you to store assembled ships. When you store your ship inside the Array, you will be ejected outside in your pod. You are relatively safe because you are still within the shield of your starbase, and cannot be targeted while it is up. Capital Ships must be stored in a Capital Ship Maintenance Array (all Capitals, even Titans, may be stored in one).
The Array also allows you to change your modules in space. To do this, move within 3000m of the Array (ensure no other ships are near). Have the modules you wish to change already in your cargo hold. Simply drag the module out from your low/mid/hi slot panels into your cargo bay and drag the modules you do want from your cargo hold into the slots. You may not see the empty low/mid/high showing by default; to change this, click the white arrow at the bottom of your screen pointing to the right. In the pop-up menu select the, "show empty modules slots", entry. Now you should be able to drop them in the shown empty slots.
Alternatively, you can open the fitting window (default hotkey command is Ctrl + Shift + F), and fit as if you were inside an station with a fitting service.
This function used to cost Capacitor, but no longer does.
Moon Harvesting Arrays
Moon Harvesting Arrays are structures for Moon Mining. When set up correctly, they will extract raw materials from the moon you starbase is Anchored at. Depending on your configuration, the Harvester Array will pass the materials onto a Reactor Array for reaction or will store them in a Silo.
Coupling Arrays act as an intermediary holding pipe between two structures. Take for instance the Moon Harvesting Array and Silo. Since you must offline your Silo before emptying it, you may lose a cycle of raw materials. By placing a Coupling Array between the Harvester and Silo, you can safely offline the Silo while you empty it and any Raw Materials that arrive will temporarily be stored in the Coupler Array.
The Coupling Array is also useful for when the Harvesters and a Reactor are running/processing at different speeds. For instance, two Harvesters may produce 100 units each an hour. The Reactor may only be able to process the said units every 2 hours. This leaves you with a surplus of 100 units that will be lost in the process. A Coupling Array acts as a buffer to temporarily hold the surplus materials until the Reactor is free.
Shield Hardening Array
Similar to shield hardener modules, Shield Hardening Arrays increase your Control Tower's shield resistance to certain damage types. There are 4 types of Shield Hardening Arrays covering each type, Kinetic, Explosive, EM and Thermal.
Electronic Warfare Structures
You can have Warp Scrambler, Warp Disruptor, Sensor Dampening, Stasis Webifing and ECM batteries Anchored at your starbase. They work automatically in conjunction with your Control Tower's security settings.
The difference between a dangerous starbase and a lethal one is all in its ability to spank anyone that comes close. starbase weaponry is very, very mean and go right up to the extra-large size. Projectile Turret Batteries, for instance, have a 85x damage modifier and can hit up to 400km on a Minmatar Tower.
Ammunition sizes of starbase turrets are a little different from those on normal ship weapons:
- Small starbase turrets take Medium ammunition.
- Medium starbase turrets take Large ammunition.
- Large starbase turrets take Extra-Large ammo (requires you to buy a blueprint).
Turret batteries have limited cargo space for you to put ammo into. You may mix ammo type but not ammo size. Lasers are a little different, the focusing crystals degrade with use and must eventually be replaced.
There are three types of Mobile Labs available in the game; Mobile Laboratory, Advanced Mobile Laboratory, and Drug Lab. Both Mobile lab types allow corporations to research blueprints while the drug lab allows a corporation to produce boosters.
- Mobile Laboratory: 3 ME, 3 PE, 1 Copy, 5 Invention slots
- Advanced Mobile Laboratory: 3 Copy, 2 ME, 2 Invention slots
- Drug Lab: 1 booster manufacturing slot
It is starbasesible to have your BPO/BPC's in a station with a office and use those in your starbase labs. If you want to install jobs from a different place then at your starbase you will need the skill Scientific Networking. In case you don't have it, you need to go to the starbase and select the office where your BPO/BPC's are. Those need to be in the same system.
- Main article: Assembly Array
There are a number of different assembly arrays available, each of which permits the construction of some variety of item. (A Drug Lab could be considered a type of assembly array.)
There are arrays of different sizes for each type of ship: small (frigate equivalents), medium (cruiser and battlecruiser equivalents), and large (battleship, carrier, and dreadnought equivalents), as well as a separate one for Capital Ships (titans, Rorqual, etc). Tech II ships require advanced versions of these arrays.
Large ship arrays cannot be anchored at stations in high security space (0.5+), and capital ship arrays can only be anchored in systems where the station has sovereignty.
Other assembly arrays exist for modules, for drones, and for ammunition.
- Main article: Moon Mining
A moon contains a certain configuration of minerals, and this does not change. They appear to be distributed randomly within regions, with high variance in mineral type from one region to another. They are broken down into Gasses and Metals, and in the database they have numerical rarity values. The 'abundance' of a mineral was planned to be used to harvest more than 100 units of ore per cycle, but that feature is not in-game yet and does not appear to be planned anymore, so effectively abundance (Promethium 2, for example) doesn't matter.
Rarity 2 - Nonmetals
- Atmospheric Gasses
- Evaporite Destarbaseits
Rarity 8 - Racial Carbide-making metals
The progression from moon mineral to tech 2 ship looks something like this:
- Ice is mined, trade goods are either bought or received as mission rewards
- Refined ice products and trade goods fuel a starbase
- A starbase mines raw materials at a Harvesting Array
- A starbase does a simple Reaction at a Medium Reactor Array or Reactor Array and turns two raw materials a processed material
- A starbase does an advanced reaction at a Reactor Array and turns two to four processed materials into an advanced material
- A player builds a construction component out of 2-3 advanced materials at a factory
- A player builds a tech 2 item at a factory out of minerals and a trivial number of construction components, or a tech 2 ship out of minerals, a tech 1 ship, and many construction components.
The full component tree is available here
Every hour, the starbase cycles. Fuel is consumed based on the fuel tab of the starbase info. Heavy water is consumed based on the fraction of total CPU used by modules onlined at the tower, Liquid Ozone is consumed based on the amount of Power Grid used. Strontium is only consumed if the starbase is in reinforced mode, in a situation where it is near death. When the tower cycles, every harvester, silo, or coupler moves 100 units down the line to whatever it's linked to. Every reactor consumes 100 units of reactants, and outputs into whatever it's linked to.
Sovereignty grants a -25% bonus to fuel consumption, rounded up to the next highest unit.